Updated May 2014

Khan Academy: Chemistry

More applied learning would give informative lectures a boost

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Chemistry teachers -– especially those who work alone –- may enjoy using these videos just to hear another instructor’s musings, or as a way to review advanced queries and responses from knowledgeable users. For students, however, most of the material here could make an already challenging topic more difficult due to the advanced language and unpolished presentation. Nevertheless, the videos are conceptually correct and cover all the major chemistry topics. Better interactivity would help the lessons reach more kids. For most of the material, you can use these chemistry lessons as an enrichment option for students. And definitely send your kids with intriguing inquiries here. Perusing the community blog can be a great way to feed a curious mind.

For most students, these lessons are probably best used in a flipped-class scenario. Have them view a video first, and then use their notes, outlines, or questions to start class discussions. Alternatively, you can encourage kids to use the lectures as a review. Most students will need clear guides, note-taking instructions, or other means of scaffolding to help them process some of the more complex topics. As an exception, the stoichiometry practice problems are a great resource on their own. There are seemingly endless versions for practice, and the step-by-step hints allow most users to avoid frustration. During class, have students hop on for 5-10 minutes to sharpen their skills while you check in with individuals.

Full Disclosure: Khan Academy and Common Sense Education share funders; however, those relationships do not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating.

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